SF Protests Continue – So Does Gospel Preaching
As I was preaching lots of motorcycle cops came up and started to block off 5th and Market. Looking down the street it looked like a parade coming. I assumed it was a the Santa Claus parade. I then proceeded to preach more loudly knowing I only had a few more minutes. I turned the amp up and held out the mic from my mouth and preached as though I didn’t have an amp. It is blasting to say the least. Nothing was said by the police. I heard a helicopter and other sirens and then realized that it was not a Santa parade at all but it was the police brutality protestors coming down the street. These protests and rallies have been prevalent in the Bay Area for the last several weeks. Some of them have been violent and downtown Oakland has a lot of broken windows. Watch Video
I stopped preaching and about this time as crowds of people were lining the sidewalk and police officers walking along side acting as a barrier between them and the procession. The officers were equipped with riot gear. I grabbed the amp once again and said with a loud voice, “support your local police” instantly officers around me within an ear shot lifting hands shouted. Also to my surprise the pedestrians (not protestors) on the sidewalk were clapping in an ovation. Dave suggested I read Romans chapter 13. He grabbed me a Bible and started reading, wow…
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Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. Romans 13:1-5
It was awesome! You had to have been there to appreciate it fully. All of this was happening so fast that this part was not videotaped. I did put the amp back down. I felt it would not be wise to continue as the protestors arrived right in front of me perhaps causing a riot and then the police wouldn’t have appreciated that. I then took some video on my phone which is what you see posted. The protests are something that is happening all over the country as you might know. It started with the verdict in Ferguson, Missouri when the courts vindicated an officer of any wrongful behavior in the death of a suspect.
How the Day Started
The day started out as any ordinary outreach. It was almost melancholy. Since it is close to Christmas there were lots of shoppers as there was the night before. When we arrived we saw the myriad of Santa’s. Immediately it brought back memories of years past where the Santa Claus brigade marches around half drunk with perverted costumes and the woman dressed scantily. Sure enough when I started preaching a attracted a group of about 12-15 of them around me. It was sport to them to ridicule and laugh. It made it near impossible to preach as they were hanging on me and a gal put her arm around me for a picture. Even in all this they were benign and friendly. I did get a laugh out of them when I looked at my watch and said, “Hey aren’t you suppose to be down at the wharf right now?”
Once they left I preached and it sort of was back to normal. Throughout the day these Santa’s were around the area and at times hassled the different preachers. There was a lot of action going on around the area since it was Christmas shopping season. I took a break and underneath the plaza where the food court is there was a group of Mennonite singing carols and handing out tracts. This was nice. The JW’s were out in force today as well and that was not so nice.
This was not the first time that I was able to support the police with the reading of Romans 13. In 2006 in Portland, Oregon my friend Richard Latimer and I, while witnessing in Pioneer Square, had stood between an angry mob and one lone policeman. This was after they had chased down a suspect and tackled him before putting the cuffs on. He was the remaining officer on the scene when people started the trouble. We were able to distract the crowd by saying, “We saw the whole thing too – that we were standing with the police.” The people turned toward me as I preached that is when the officer disappeared. They dispersed when someone from the crowd said, “these are the guys that were preaching earlier about God, lets go!”